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WR resident recovers from accident

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Many years ago, Ezra Maes, was a young boy in White Rock. He attended Chamisa Elementary, was a member of Cub Scout Pack 20 and played at the White Rock Youth Activity Center.

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Recently, Maes shared memories of Chamisa and his scouting days. When asked to share a memory, it was all about summer camp. “My favorite Cub Scouts was the summer camp we did that was space themed,” said Maes. “We made, ‘light sabers,’ and had an all-out brawl against the opposing team.”

Maes eventually moved to Santa Fe with his family and graduated from Santa Fe High School, with the Class of 2016.

He joined the United States Army and left for boot camp in August. He decided on the Army for the chance to serve his country and planned to continue his education using the GI bill.

“What I like best about the Army is the camaraderie, said Maes. “You meet and befriend people from all walks of life.

The bonds you make in the Army are quite unlike anything I had experienced to that point.”

Those bonds with Army friends are more evident than ever before for Maes. Events during the last few months has taken friendship to a new level. While stationed in Poland and on a training mission in September, he was involved in a tank accident with two crew mates.

On Sept. 19, the military publication, The Stars and Stripes reported on the accident in Slovakia. That report was then followed up on by reporter Patrick Hayes on KOB tv with an on-line story titled, Soldier from Santa Fe forced to amputate own leg after training exercise gone wrong.

While recent media coverage has soured the prospect of donating money, a Go Fund Me page had already been established to assist Maes and his family members for what is a lengthy healing process. Family continues to travel from White Rock and Santa Fe to the hospital in Texas.

Cards, letters and donations are being collected locally by non-profit, Champions of Youth Ambitions. A donation box is available during business hours at the Betty Ehart Senior Center for holiday cards for Maes and eight other local military personnel serving across the country and the world.

“It’s incredible, the support of my family and friends, not to mention my unit still in Poland, and all the doctors and nursing staff all the way,” said Maes. “I have been uplifted to a level of euphoria I’ve never quite experienced.”

The love and support from the community of Los Alamos has included; a beautiful handmade quilt from the Church of Christ, a care package for Ezra and prayer shawls for his mother, grandmother and both crew mates from the United Church and cards and candy from the congregation at Bethlehem Lutheran.

If Go Fund Me isn’t your style, consider donations to the Fisher House, which helps military families. Their motto is, “Because a family’s love is good medicine.”

They allow families to stay at no charge for hospitalized military members, after an injury or illness.

Additional information is available at fisherhouse.org.